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Time to let go—or not? (2)

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“By far the most painstaking and careful undertaking to evaluate the performance of CARP on beneficiary welfare is the 2007 APPC Impact Assessment Study funded by DAR (updated in November 2008 as ‘Land Reform, Rural Development and Poverty in the Philippines: Revisiting the Agenda’). … [T]he effort is remarkable for its attention to detail.”

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Time to let go—or not?

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Yesterday, Raul Fabella of the University of the Philippines School of Economics and the National Academy of Science and Technology gave a lecture titled “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP): Time to Let Go.” Note that it wasn’t a question, but a statement. And coming from him, that is music to the ears of landowners who have not yet been CARPed.

Posted: March 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why take offense?

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It is not as if this is the first time we are told that a great number of professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants, doctors), and the rest of their self-employed, “own-account” brethren, don’t seem to be paying their fair share of taxes. One certainly remembers that P-Noy made a point of it in his State of the Nation Address. It’s been written about at any time these past 20 years, including by yours truly, who also brought it out in any number of speeches in front of professional organizations.

Posted: March 8th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What’s the motive for Cha-cha?

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Innocuous. Nonthreatening. On its face, that’s what a lot of people would think of the current congressional move to amend our Constitution. After all, it consists of only five words, “unless otherwise provided by law,” to be inserted in the provisions limiting foreign ownership of land, natural resources, public utilities, media, and advertising agencies.

Posted: March 1st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Does the academic calendar matter?

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Three cheers for University of the Philippines Diliman. It refused to be rushed into approving the proposal to change the academic calendar from June-April to August-May and, when it was discussed in its University Council, disapproved it, calling for careful study. The 5-page proposal was apparently unsupported by any real evidence.

Posted: February 14th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The jury is still out

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Senator Tito Sotto’s proposal to reinstitute the death penalty is premised on his claim that the crime rate in the Philippines has increased. That apparently is inaccurate, at least concerning the heinous crimes for which the death penalty is proposed. Senior Superintendent William Macavinta showed me the data for these crimes, and they show a decrease from 2012 to 2013 (they increased from 2009 to 2012).

Posted: February 7th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Questions for Revilla and Aquino

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Barely into the New Year, the first salvos for the 2016 election have been fired. Presidential candidates are already being attacked and, of course, the President himself is not immune (belying the “lame duck” label).

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Speed and even-handedness

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There are two noteworthy aspects of the case of Vilma Bautista, a former personal aide of Imelda Marcos that should be pointed out. The first is that insofar as memory serves, she is the ONLY member of the “entourage” of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos—meaning themselves, their close aides, and their cronies at any time during their 14-year dictatorship—who is going to jail (I am assuming that her appeal will be turned down). The second is the speed with which her case was resolved (in New York): It took, from indictment to decision, 13 months. Add another month for the sentence to come down.

Posted: January 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Flawed rationale for proposed academic calendar

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The move to change the academic calendar of the University of the Philippines, as well as other schools like Ateneo de Manila University, from the present June-March cycle to a late August-May cycle should be examined with a fine-toothed comb. Instead, there seems to have been a rush to judgment, which was stopped in its tracks by the members of the university community. The Commission on Higher Education also weighed in on the issue.

Posted: January 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Who’s responsible for power price spike?

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The electricity market has been in the news lately, with the huge spike in the price of electricity for the customers of Meralco (70 percent of Luzon). My knowledge of this market amounting to not much, I decided to bone up on it before adding my voice to the cacophony of opinions, and recommendations.

Posted: December 13th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

‘Double flip-flop’ by high court

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The justices of the Supreme Court have been drowning in cases. As of 2004, the last year they gave us information through the Philippine Statistical Yearbook, their case backlog (defined as case load minus case outflow) was 6,882 cases. Divide that by 15 justices, and that means an average of 458 cases each that the justices haven’t disposed of yet.

Posted: December 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

My stroke: good and bad news

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My first choice as subject matter for this column was the Supreme Court’s decision on the Priority Development Assistance Fund. It was announced to the media late Tuesday afternoon, so there was plenty of time for me to read it myself, together with any separate concurring opinions before writing.

Posted: November 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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